Top 3 Fav. things about Intimate History/Meilin the writer

As I was commenting on other web serials, I thought it would be neat to see what draws people to the novel and keeps them here. If nothing else, it may be a good ego boost for Meilin and who doesn't need those every now and then! Wink So, list your top 3 fav. things about Meilin as a writer or History itself. I'll go 1st to give you an idea.

1. Almost every event seems to have a purpose that moves things along in a certain direction. There's few big events that happen and then never get followed up on or mentioned again.

2. Updates happen regularly and if they won't, notice is given.

3. Characters are constantly developing, learning and growing. Their experiences over the course of things has adjusted their character profiles in a manner that is like real life, thus making the characters more realistic and life-like.

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

(for once) and in no particular order:

1) The characters.
2) The way it always gives me the warm and fuzzies.
3) The dirty bits, especially the ones about Emmae (but other ones as well).
4) The community.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

A whole thread of praise. Smile

I'm hoping when I'm done with the rewrites you guys will like it better. I was about to say to you, KK, that if you're here for warm fuzzies you might not be happy, but then I remembered the "WTF is with Temmin!" post, so I'm thinking you might actually like it better. Smile

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

I'm actually torn a little. I'm glad I'll still have access to the draft, because it really does give me the warm and fuzzies, and I really do like that, but I can also see how there is room for improvement. That last chapter really brought out that feeling in me, so I do feel better about the rewrite, but I am a little sad about losing the old stuff. I also think you're going to improve some things about the story that are outside of the limited list of things that irritate me about the story (playing up the molestation of Maddie, for instance), and I'm already pretty sure I'm not going to be thrilled about that, but so it goes. I can see how most of the changes will make this a much better story, and I have faith in you and Netta to make this the best it can be. I'm just a little sad to see Temmin fail to be inherently adorable and innocent all the time. It's going to be hard to let that Temmin go, but he has been annoying me lately, so you're making it easier. Wink

I also really appreciate different things at different times. Today (and when I wrote that post about Temmin), I feel pretty great, and if I were to read something right now, I would want it to be something that had a little meat to it. Days like today, I can really appreciate where the story is going and why, and feel pretty great about it. Some days, especially on generally crappy days, I just want something warm and fuzzy to make me feel better. On crappy days, I want movies with happy endings, books with adorably innocent characters, and a cute boy to fall asleep next to. Fortunately, there is Bolt, old IHGK drafts, and a cute boy that happens to be mine. Smile

Also, entirely unrelatedly, I have to add one thing to my list of things I like about the story: grammar. I hate stories where the author makes common grammar mistakes, and you really never do. Sometimes you'll have typos or something, but I can let that slide (*especially* since these are still drafts) much more easily than I could let slide a fundamental flaw in your understanding of the English language. You really know your way around the language, and I really, really enjoy and appreciate it.

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

on the grammar.
Our author has a real grasp of the English language...the other serials I've read (which is a tiny portion of the universe of webserials) don't reach the level this one attains of grammatical correctness and fluency.

V's picture

Embodiment

Yes, aspiring authors, it really does matter that much. Not to you, and not to everyone--but to enough of us. Particularly the ones you'd really be better off having on your side.

Gudy's picture

Embodiment

... indeed. My frustration threshold for poor grammar and spelling is pretty low, and I am inordinately happy that MeiLin consistently gets it right.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

My grammar isn't perfect, but it's better than most; incorrect grammar drives me nuts. I drive myself nuts enough as it is, so I watch my grammar. I also find the way the language fits together a satisfying puzzle. English is an amazing, still-evolving language with so many linguistic roots! I love it.

I actually "met" someone--someone who said she was a writer--on Twitter the other day who didn't know the difference between second person and present tense, which is like saying you don't know the difference between elephants and coffee tables; they both have four legs, after all. I suggested that she might invest in a good grammar. I swear I wasn't being snarky; I figured anyone who has to ask a question like that probably knows she needs a grammar. Boy was I wrong!

And if you don't know the difference, I'm happy to explain and I won't look down on you at all. I only do if you claim that you're a wordsmith and don't know which end of the linguistic hammer is which.

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

Tenses and perspectives stick out like a sore thumb to me, and I feel compelled to lay it all out there when someone who claims to be a writer doesn't get it. I suppose it's sort of understandable if people aren't aware that there can be more than one type of third person, but that one will still bug me.

ETA: Also this is the second time you've double posted today. What's up with that? You can't do anything with the points!

MeiLin's picture

Most High

I have no idea. I think my connection's been so slow things have gotten processed twice.

Gudy's picture

Embodiment

.. is a familiar urge for me, too, in that kind of situation. Usually, what I do instead is to just roll my eyes and walk away. Trying to explain stuff to someone who seriously claims to be a craftsman but is obviously and completely negligent about his tools and raw materials strikes me as a supreme waste of time. I mean, sure, you don't necessarily need to know what an omniscient narrator is in order to tell a compelling story, but if you can't be bothered to make a decent attempt at getting your language right, you may want to consider telling your story in a medium other than the written word...

MeiLin's picture

Most High

...*IF* she cared, she could look it up online. I think this was an adult, but I'm not sure...

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

kawaiikune wrote:
I'm actually torn a little. I'm glad I'll still have access to the draft, because it really does give me the warm and fuzzies, and I really do like that, but I can also see how there is room for improvement. That last chapter really brought out that feeling in me, so I do feel better about the rewrite, but I am a little sad about losing the old stuff. I also think you're going to improve some things about the story that are outside of the limited list of things that irritate me about the story (playing up the molestation of Maddie, for instance), and I'm already pretty sure I'm not going to be thrilled about that, but so it goes. I can see how most of the changes will make this a much better story, and I have faith in you and Netta to make this the best it can be. I'm just a little sad to see Temmin fail to be inherently adorable and innocent all the time. It's going to be hard to let that Temmin go, but he has been annoying me lately, so you're making it easier. ;)

Amen.

Especially on the Temmin bit.

All the more reason to get the pdfs of the drafts!

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

1) Professionalism. Her years of writing practice shows in the best ways possible. I love love love this. It shows in the writing itself and in the storytelling. It also shows in her forum-wrangling skills (obviously MeiLin was a lion tamer at some point in her misspent youth :grins:)

2) Maturity. Not the ZOMG 18++ sexxorz! kind, the I-am-no-longer-a-20-something-college-student kind. Again, it shows in her writing, in the stories, and in the forum-wrangling.

3) Novel premise! Yeah, we can talk all day about influences and related story types for the History, but really - the Teacher, the Victorian-Greek hybrid culture, the story of Tremont and it's royal family? And all this, originally just as a frame for some naughty bedtime stories? Lovely!

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

strong outline.

I like the quality of the writing, the people, and the depth of the setting. The world seems both consistent and reasonable. Both important.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

it's not as consistent as it should be, but that's what made it a draft. MANY inconsistencies to clear up.

Oddfish's picture

Postulant

Plus 4) the characters. Whether or not I like them, they're real to me. I could see Rose, sans chemical imbalance, in a former friend (Guess why she's former?). The Most Highs are like the best parts of grandparents, plus a bunch of other good stuff. Temmin is a stupid kid sometimes. Brinnid's got faults under his deplorable excess of charm (Now that I think of it, I haz one). How they act and what they think makes sense in that they are human actions and feelings.

Andrea's picture

Supplicant

also in no particular order and more than three:

1) The fact that there's a big picture to the story -- one that we can see coming together, but we can only guess where it's going.

2) As others have said, the fact that the characters are dynamic and round; we see them changing and we see different sides of them all the time. I love seeing the way everyone is responding to Ansella's situation, for example, and I like seeing Elly's mature side and Sedra's immature side.

3) The community, especially the open-minded culture we have here.

4) Le smut.

5) The fact that we see things from different levels of life/perspective. Like, we see Temmin realizing that he's going to be in charge of a chunk of the world, and on a smaller scale, we see him realizing that not everyone has running water, and then we see him reverting back to familiar interactions with Ellika... We see the really-big picture, the big-in-a-different-way picture, and the familiar, and then maybe we'll see the familiar in a new light. It's hard to explain, and I love it.

ETA minor changes

NorthwoodsMan's picture

Embodiment

1) Accessibility and interactivity - Okay, so I don't read a lot of other web serials, but where else can you ask a question like this and have the author herself (not a publicist or handler) give you an answer?

2) Consistency - While we may not know what's coming in the stories, there is continuity and consistency. Both very difficult when you try to keep a regular schedule and have 2-5 other significant (jobs, commitments, family members, etc)

3) Community - Yes, it's a bi-product and was never intended to be this significant, but it's quite the community and would never be here without the creation, support, and encouragement of our beloved author

Oh ya, and the quality of the writing in the story is pretty damn good too...

Pikachu42's picture

Embodiment

1. the fact that it sucked me in. i read it and was like OMG! MUST HAS MOARS!!!

2. the writing is brilliant. this is the first thing i've read in a LONG time that hasn't made me inwardly cringe (my own writing at times included)

3. the community. it's not like some places where i'm afraid to speak up, or that my comments will get lost. i FEEL important.

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

Pikachu42 wrote:
3. the community. it's not like some places where i'm afraid to speak up, or that my comments will get lost. i FEEL important.

Because you ARE important here Biggrin

This sappy moment brought to you by the maple syrup I just had on my pancakes (get it, maple syrup, sap?) and the fact that I'm on a sugar high from pancakes+chocolate chip pancakes+maple syrup(+gallon of milk) for dinner, wheeeeeeeee!

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

Insulin!

I need Insulin!

STAT!

Amy's picture

Supplicant

THRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good boy

You are often amusing but not this time imo.

Gudy's picture

Embodiment

... the writing. Which itself has a lot of different facets - complex plot, complex, living characters, and the obvious skill of a writer who knows what do do with language.

... the community, including the fact that our dear author is so very much a part of it, too.

... the smut, or rather the way in which MeiLin proves that having smut in a great story doesn't magically turn it into crap, but when handled right actually makes things even better.

Amy's picture

Supplicant

1) story & plot development
2) believable angst where called for that is not blown overly out of proportion.
3) Characters that grow
4) Word-Smithing that does not toot the author's own intellectual nor talk down to us.
5) Community
6) Even throw away characters are believable beings.

In short

7) A well told story written by an adult for adults

Stormy's picture

Supplicant

The omni-dimensional characters had me hooked from early on. I feel like these are living, breathing people that I get to peek in on.

This community and her presence in it. MeiLin manages to remain professional yet totally relatable at the same time. And the fact that this community of varied and interesting people gathered in response to her talent and personality...that's pretty sweet.

And I very much enjoy MeiLin's geeky fangirlism. :bigsmile:

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

My things have been said already, but I'll say them again.

The complexity of the story and the depth of the characters. All of them have their own hopes and fears, and not one of them is a cookie cutter/one dimensional character, and while there's an overarching meta plot, there are numerous little stories happening on their own along the way.

The community. It's open and mature and entertaining, and MeiLin is very much a part of it. The fact that she enjoys mingling with the unwashed masses makes it extra nice to be here.

And I actually can't think of a third thing. I'm sure there are lots of little things that make this place awesome that I'll think of later, but those two I just mentioned are so big that they eclipse everything else.

nitebane21's picture

Interesting to see how similar many people's top 3 are. And how much the community is listed. Guess I shoulda joined earlier! Blum 3

MeiLin's picture

Most High

I've built a lot of online communities in the last 15 years, but nothing like this one. This is far and away the coolest one I ever built--well, YOU guys built it, I just made the space.

Amy's picture

Supplicant

Can only be as good as all of it's parts AND the foundation that it's built upon. Mei, you have done more than give us a space, we are here because of your story & what it means to us, & what it touches within us. You open up a place where anything goes as long as we are nice about it.

I explained it this way to a friend of mine whom I'm trying to get to start reading,

Great literacy, a good story, food, sex in all it's forms, real people, & fluffy kitties. You have set a tone for your community that makes this a place that we all thrive in.

Is this the first community that you have created that you have not tried to keep limited to a pre-made universe? If so that may be the key to what is different here. We are not coming here with our own interpretation of someone else's creation, but are growing with your creation as it grows. ~ does that make any sense?

V's picture

Embodiment

1. The consistency and scope of the universe
It makes sense to me. I can be detail oriented (shut up, Scrapper Lol but all the details here hang together correctly in all the important ways. Suspension of disbelief is not a problem. Suspension of consistency or frequent use of deus ex machina is.

2. The accuracy and talent in the characterization
Simply a refined example of consistency. Based on underlying tenets and personalities we don't fully understand, many characters with different motivations encounter situations and react as *they* would, which changes with the person and perspective. Even using a recent critique of Temmin as being too muddle-headed and not encountering stress or consequences, he still hung together as a person given a certain setting. The book might be stronger when he's in a different setting, but he's still correct for where he was placed.

3. The community
I can't identify everything that makes this place tick, and it ties into the many many things that missed the top 3, but this best summarizes it for the 3rd point.
- The setting of the work helps. If you can't stand a little kink you'll be moving the other direction at high speed. Those who stay are basically open-minded.
- The format of the work helps. Your basic troll lacks either the reading comprehension skills or the desire to actually *read* a *novel-length* story and stick around enough to realize that we're even here.
- The work has broad appeal. Anyone who satisfies the first bullet and also reads for pleasure is in. It's not as much of a niche as knitting, gluten-free foods, or people who slather themselves with things they rubbed between their toes.
- Right. The community is also filtered by people who read for pleasure--IMNSHO, a significantly more erdite, eloquent, and generally awesome bunch of people than average.
- MEILIN. The first 4 bullets are necessary but insufficient. Other popular web serials have that but the communities were stillborn. Maintaining a community *does* take work, and it's a skill set independent of writing. Other authors may not have the time or inclination to keep watering the garden, but Mei does and we're all enjoying the results.

So for whatever reason, Mei has the unique mix of extremely varied skills (nonfiction plus community building plus kink plus geeky plus crazy loyal plus simply crazy? Srsly?) that gives us A. IHOTGK and B. This community. Dance 4 :love-oni: Dance 4 :love: Dance 4 ..... J)

netta's picture

Petitioner

I have to chime in here, although my perspective might be a little different. I've worked with a lot of different clients, but here, I can say it right out loud. MeiLin is one of two Very Favorites.

Why?

Because she is dedicated and she takes it seriously. This is not a game, not a hobby, for her. You can't imagine how frustrating it is to work with a writer who pays you to tell them what is wrong and how to fix it, only to have them ignore everything you're telling them. Not that I expect total servitude; like I told MeiLin from the beginning, this is HER story and ultimately, she makes the decisions. However, we're able to discuss the issues and work them out.

She has a vision. She is relentless in pursuing her vision. She's imaginative, driven, and focused. The path she's chosen is not the easiest, but she's not going to let anything stop her. I admire and relate to that, so much.

She is knowledgeable about her chosen subject and world, and doesn't pull things out of her ass just to bullshit me or the reader, for that matter. This work is honest, well-structured, and believable.

Trust me, as an editor, it doesn't get better than this.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

Thank you. Blush It's been a pleasure to work with you; I really don't know if I could figure out how to rip these things apart and put them back together (more on that in email) without you.

V's picture

Embodiment

netta wrote:
doesn't pull things out of her ass just to bullshit me or the reader, for that matter. This work is honest, well-structured, and believable.
That's what I was trying to get at earlier.

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